As some of you now know, I have a complicated relationship with my “Saddlebags.” They seem happy to stick around, and I want them gone. After mustering all my courage to visit the Wellness Center last week, I had to come to terms with the fact that: a) I actually committed to at least twelve one-hour training sessions; and, b) they started this morning.
True to the friendly-no-matter-how-you-slice it persona of the place, I was met with no less than three “good mornings” as I reluctantly entered the Center. Oh, and one, “Good morning, Kelly,” from Joanna who just happened to be getting to work the same time I arrived for my session. I think she secretly staked out the parking lot and entered along with me just to make sure I didn’t turn around and run away. Effective. Verrrry effective, those tactics they employ!
I descended the stairs into the basement level workout room area thinking, “I’m not going to be able to walk back up these stairs when I’m done.” I probably had about twenty more doomsday messages ready to tell myself as I neared the door, but once again, the attendant at the desk distracted me from my fear-based mantras. “Hi,” he said. “Are you here for a session?”
I stared at him for at least two or three seconds thinking, “I could just say no. I could just say, ‘Oh – nah. Just looking around.'” I opened my mouth to answer him, still uncertain of what would come out when a young man with an air of confidence, exuding Physical Fitness walked up and interjected, “Are you Kelly?”
“How did he KNOW that?” I wondered. I looked around the room. There were only three others working out. One was a male, one was working with a trainer, and one was dressed in OSU trainer garb who appeared to be an employee. “Cripes…nowhere to hide!”
Icleared my throat; he was already holding out his arm for a hand-shake greeting. “Yes, that would be me,” I responded. “Hi there. Um, where do I put my bags?” The question was a ploy. I thought perhaps he would give me a tour of the locker room which might eat up at least 5-10 minutes of our session.
“Oh, just over here by the weight bench will be fine. Why don’t we start with you warming up on the treadmill?”
Do you see how this works? Nowhere between my car and hitting the Start button on the treadmill was there any possibility of escape. “These people should go into raising scholarship funds for the university,” I thought. “There’s zero chance of ever saying no!” I looked at my trainer wishing to be rescued one last time and he said, “Here’s how you turn it on – and here’s how you speed it up. Why don’t you warm up for about 3.5 minutes or so and jog for about a minute and a half. Let’s raise your body temperature just a bit.” He was hitting buttons and my legs began to move against my will. I’ll keep this post G-rated, but will also confess that my cursing habit I picked up on the sixth grade basketball court kicked in and interrupted my thought patterns. Maybe that was good. “Get angry, Kelly,” I told myself. “Own that treadmill!”
At this point I have a true confession. I’m horrible at remembering names, and I promise you it will take me at least three times working with this lovely gentleman trainer before I actually type his name. I’m sorry, Mr. Trainer, you are worth more than me forgetting your name. I’ll try harder next time. Right after I begin walking without a hobble again.
So, here’s my workout in a nutshell: Doing deep-knee bends with my back against a huge yellow ball, I learned to “trust the ball.” You have to have a high degree of ball-trust in order to squat deep enough to make your legs burn, which leads me to my second nutshell moment: Somewhere at minute 20-25 I felt like I was going to hurl right on the workout room floor. I took a break, ran into the bathroom, and stayed on my knees in the stall for a good five minutes. The feeling passed, but it was a brutal reminder of just how out of shape I really was. And finally: I got one real compliment today – evidently I have balance and good form. I was asked if I was originally a dancer. I don’t care if that compliment was simply the trainer grasping at straws to find something positive to say – it worked like a charm. I dug in, finished the workout, and hobbled out of the gym.
Then I wimped out and took the elevator up to the first floor after my shower.
I walked outside to the car, threw my bags in the back, and saw a parking ticket fluttering from my windshield wiper. My sixth-grade urge to curse returned. I pulled it off my windshield, threw it in the passenger seat and thought, “Okay – next time, bring quarters for the parking meter.” Confessing that I was so scared about my workout I didn’t even notice the parking meters to the OSU traffic court wouldn’t do any good. I’ll pay it. And, the payment will remind me that parking meters are also a good way to distract me from my fear of workout number two.
In the meantime, I have to do four 30-minute cardio sets before next Monday. These will happen at my house, on my treadmill, with no one planted anywhere to encourage me along to the workout room. It’s me and my Saddlebags, baby. Me, my treadmill, my Saddlebags, and the reminder that perhaps I was originally a dancer back in the day.
I just grinned. Man, that dancer comment is quite the miracle worker. I’ll check in with you next week…and I’ll definitely let you know when my Saddlebags start becoming a more appropriate size for their horse.
(Click here for the next in the series: The Fantastic Fear Trifecta.)